Saturday, January 31, 2009

Daring Bakers: Tuiles

This month's challenge is brought to us by Karen of Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.

The challenge was to use one of the batters given, shape it either prior (using a stencil) or right after baking and pair it with something light; fruit, sorbet, a mousse, etc.

Source: The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeinck
65 grams / ¼ cup / 2.3 ounces softened butter (not melted but soft)
60 grams / ½ cup / 2.1 ounces sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 sachet vanilla sugar (7 grams or substitute with a dash of vanilla extract)
2 large egg whites (slightly whisked with a fork)
65 grams / ½ cup / 2.3 ounces sifted all purpose flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder/or food coloring of choice (optional)
Butter/spray to grease baking sheet or parchment paper

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream butter, sugar and vanilla using a low speed until you have a paste. Keep stirring while you gradually add the egg whites. Add the flour in small batches and stir to achieve a homogeneous and smooth batter/paste. Be careful to not overmix.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. (This batter will keep in the fridge for up to a week, take it out 30 minutes before you plan to use it).

Grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. Transfer the batter into a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip and pipe the desired shapes. Or, if using a stencil, press the stencil on the baking sheet and use an off sided spatula to spread the batter. Leave some room in between your shapes.

If desired, mix a small part of the batter with the cocoa or food coloring and a few drops of warm water until evenly colored. Use this colored batter in a paper piping bag and proceed to pipe your decorations.

Bake for about 5-10 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Immediately release from the baking sheet and proceed to shape/bend the cookies in the desired shape. These cookies have to be shaped when still warm so you might want to bake a small amount at a time.

I chose not to use any coloring or cocoa. I piped large circles (about 8 inches in diameter) and used an offset spatula to smooth the batter into a thin circle. As soon as the tuiles came out of the oven, I placed them over an upside down drinking glass to get the bowl shape I wanted. Then I went about making the fillings for the bowl.

Clementine Curd
Adapted from: The Elegent Sufficiency and Alton Brown
Zest and juice of 4 clementines
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 cup sugar
5 egg yolks
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces

Place zest, juice (you'll need 1/3 cup of liquid total – add water if you're short), sugar and egg yolks in a heatproof bowl. Whisk until smooth, about 4 minutes.

Set bowl over a saucepan filled with an inch or two of simmering water. Whisk continuously for 7 to 10 minutes until it is lighter in color, opaque and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Remove the bowl from the saucepan and add butter one piece at a time whisking until each piece has melted completely before adding the next piece.

Your curd will keep for four weeks in the refrigerator with a piece of plastic wrap pressed on the surface to prevent a skin from forming.

Vanilla Mousse
Source: Tartelette
2/3 cup (160g) heavy cream (35% fat content)
2/3 cup (160g) whole milk
1 vanilla bean
4 medium-sized egg yolks
3 oz (6 Tbsp / 80g) granulated sugar
3 Tbsp (25g) cornstarch, sifted
4g / 2 tsp powdered gelatin or 2 sheets gelatin
1 cup (240g) whipping cream (35% fat content)

Pour the milk and 2/3 cup cream into a saucepan. Split the vanilla bean in half, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean halves into milk and put the vanilla bean in as well. Heat to boiling, then turn the heat off, cover and let infuse for at least 30 minutes. Then remove the vanilla bean.

Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until white, thick and fluffy. Add the cornstarch, beating carefully to ensure that there are no lumps. While whisking vigorously, pour some of the milk into the yolk mixture to temper it. Put infused milk back on the stove on medium heat. Pour yolk mixture back into the milk while whisking vigorously. Keep whisking vigorously until mixture thickens considerably.

As soon as the mixture starts to boil, leave on for only 2 more minutes. Add the gelatin and let it melt completely, stirring once or twice.

Whip the 1 cup whipping cream until stiff and add gradually to the pastry cream. Blend delicately with a spatula.

To assemble the dessert, pipe the vanilla mousse into your tuile bowl and top with curd. Garnish with a curl of clementine zest.

Overall, the tuiles were fairly simple to make and I would make them again. Some changes I would try next time would be to add a little bit of flavoring to the batter – I think a few drops of almond extract or lemon extract would be perfect.

I would also try to get my toiles thinner. It was quite tricky getting them large enough to form a bowl and spreading them thin was even harder.

My favorite part of this challenge was making the clementine curd. It was much simpler than I expected and it came out beautifully. I thought it was a bit too sweet at first, but once it was chilled the sweetness was just right. I had some of the curd spread on toast for breakfast the next morning and it was heavenly!

I can't believe I've ever shelled out my hard-earned money for store bought lemon curd. Never again!

And once again, I had trouble with the pastry cream. Following a different recipe this time, I wound up with the exact same results – too-thick pastry cream with some lumps of coagulated corn starch. Both times it was edible and had great flavor, just not the right texture.

That's it pastry cream, it's on! We're gonna have this out until you're no longer my enemy. You and pie crust – you're going down.

Guess that means it's time to make a cream pie ...

Be sure to check out the blogroll to see what creations the other Daring Bakers came up with this month!


  1. Wow, that looks awesome! I bet that curd is delicious. Looking forward to cream pie. ;)

  2. Vanilla mousse and Clementine curd? I'm in love! I couldn't agree more about store bought curd, it's so artificial tasting and just gross! That said, loved your 'battle' with the pastry cream -- you showed 'IT'..LOL Great job all around :)

  3. Mmm, vanilla and clementine. Yummy combination. Great job!

  4. What alovely photo I really like the pale yellow and the light tuiles in the shoot. The point isn't to be on time just that you have fun and be a little challenged. Great job on this challenge. Good to see that pastry cream and pie crust are on your short list. I had great trouble with mayonnaise so attack the recipe a few times now it is one of my fav's and so simple it is usually "fear" and the "new" that is the real trouble.

  5. Wow, you say you'd like them thinner, but I think the tuile looks beautiful!

  6. Tuiles looks great I like your Clementine Curd. Looks awesome.

  7. Sound delish Holly.. Made me wanna try Clementine curd. your tuiles are lovely. Well done!

  8. Wow, your tuile is so pretty! I actually haven't had curd before, it's always sounded like a bad word or something :) I think I want to try this recipe though.